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Michigan’s Ross School of Business Names First Female Dean

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has named Alison Davis-Blake as its next dean, the school announced yesterday. She will assume the role in August 2011 pending approval by the university’s Board of Regents.

Davis-Blake comes to Ross from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where she has been dean since 2006. Prior to that she served as a professor of management and administrator at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin for 16 years. She holds a master’s degree in organizational management from Brigham Young University and a doctorate, also in organizational management, from Stanford University.

University of Michigan Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Phil Hanlon chose Davis-Blake from three finalists selected by a search committee, ending a 10-month search, according to the Wall Street Journal. Davis-Blake will become the first female dean in Ross’s 87-year history when she replaces outgoing Dean Robert Dolan on August 22, 2011.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to lead the Ross School of Business,” Davis-Blake said in a statement. “Its action-based learning approach is a unique niche that sets it apart from other business schools,” she added.

According the Journal report, the hopes are that Davis-Blake will help Ross expand its global presence and draw more executives to its executive MBA program, applications to which dropped significantly due to the decline of the area’s auto industry.

“I’ll be talking to alumni and employers to see if what they are seeking aligns with what we’re producing,” Davis-Blake told the Journal.

According to Hanlon, Ross has lagged behind other business schools that have established international partnerships or built campuses in other parts of the world because it has been focused on completing a new 270,000 square-foot facility. “Our growth outside the U.S. is one of our highest priorities,” he told the Journal. “We think that’s where the majority of job growth will be.”

For the Ross press release on Davis-Blake’s appointment, click here.

For the Wall Street Journal story, click here.

Posted in: MBA News

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